Danish engineering firm Ramboll has been selected to support the VindàƒËœ consortium on master-planning the world’s first artificial energy island, which will be located in the North Sea.
The island, which is expected to be realised by 2030, is considered a monumental project that not only plays a leading role in fulfilling Denmark’s target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 but also contributes to increasing renewable energy across Europe.
Ramboll will provide detailed studies of the possible activities on the island, such as:
- Power-to-X (PtX) facilities, where power from wind farms is converted to products such as hydrogen and ammonia to be used in shipping and industry;
- The feasibility of a data centre on the energy island: Combined with abundant and low-cost electricity with proximity to international data cables, this could potentially be attractive for both data centre developers and the owners of the energy island;
- Flexibility solutions in the form of energy storage on the energy island, ranging from short-term storage in batteries to storage solutions that may absorb and store power over longer periods.
While one of the primary drivers for the project is the transmission of green power to the Danish and European shores, the project also offers possibilities for innovation and value-creating infrastructure due to its size and magnitude.
Innovative solutions will be essential to accommodate the outputs of wind farms, which could reach a combined capacity of up to 10GW, equivalent to the power consumption of 10 million European households.
“Being innovative, however, is not enough. When identifying the possible technical and commercially attractive solutions for the energy island, sustainability is on top of our agenda,” says Sàƒ¸ren Làƒ¸vstad Christensen, project manager and chief economist at Ramboll.
Another key component to be investigated is the liveability aspects of creating an island where potentially many people will stay for long or shorter periods. With an expected lifetime of over 50 years, recreational areas, as well as safe and attractive environments and accommodation for the temporary inhabitants of the island, will need to be developed and designed from the very beginning.
The primary connection point to the energy island will be a port. The port will be essential for shipping and landing materials for constructions works, and for shipping of products produced on the island, but also for the daily operations with crew transfer and transfer of supplies and materials needed for the operations.
The port could possibly also have a role as a service port for other users, such as fishing vessels, Danish Coast Guard vessels, environmental monitoring vessels etc., which would enhance the sustainability of the project even more, and improve ship operations which today are handled onshore.
Throughout 2021, 20-30 Ramboll experts will be working on sustainable solutions for the energy island, providing the VindàƒËœ consortium with background for their bid in the upcoming tender phase to be initiated by the Danish Government.
The VindàƒËœ consortium is composed of two of Denmark’s largest pension funds, PensionDenmark and PFA, as well as Danish energy company Andel (previously SEAS-NVE), with Nykredit as financing partner.